Astra 2E changes

The current channels we receive are transmitted from a number of SES owned Satellites, not just one. And each Satellite has more than one Beam.

Imagine each satellite is holding 2 torches, 1 has a tight beam over the UK, and the other is a wider beam over Europe.

For pricing reasons alone, BBC and ITV ext, have elected the UK spot beam. Its cheaper to rent space on than the bigger pan European beam.
As BBC etc, is only intended for licence payers in the UK, Its all they need really. This signal still reaches as far south as Madrid

Previously, These channels were on Astra2D also on a UK beam. This beam however was still good for our areas with the correct size dish.
Astra2D has since retired and most of our channels were moved onto Astra1D early last year. 1D has a nice big wide beam. As a result, we all got better reception.
1D however, is was only intended to be a short stop gap to hold these channels until the launch of SES Astra’ new birds.

Astra2F and Astra2E were due to replace the ageing satellites but due to delays, this took some time as you know. Astra2F is now fully operational and has taken some free stations onto its UK beam. Like channel five and 4o7 to mentions a few.
However this change has been minor and the loss of channels has only effected some of the more obscure ones that are not so popular.
We extensive testing in this part of the world, we have concluded that the 2F spot beam would require larger than 3.5m dishes.

Astra2E is intended to take over from 1N and carry the majority of the UK free stations in the coming weeks or days.
As it is exactly the same design as its sister 2F, Is in the same orbital position, and has the very same UK beam, We can only take an informed but likely outcome of the future.

Sky channels will remain for the time being on the wider pan european beam and should be largely unaffected.


Astra2E Launch

Proton Rocket Back in Service with Successful ILS Launch of Astra 2E Satellite

By Peter B. de Selding | Sep. 30, 2013
The Proton-Breeze-M vehicle placed the 6,000-kilogram Astra 2E telecommunications satellite into the designated transfer orbit nine hours and 12 minutes after liftoff. Credit: ILS photo

BEIJING — Russia’s Proton rocket successfully returned to flight Sept. 30 with the launch of a commercial telecommunications satellite less than three months after its spectacular failure following a misinstalled flight-trajectory sensor.

Operating from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Proton-Breeze-M vehicle placed the 6,000-kilogram Astra 2E telecommunications satellite into the designated transfer orbit nine hours and 12 minutes after liftoff, according to Proton commercial operator International Launch Services (ILS) of Reston, Va.,  and satellite owner SES of Luxembourg.

ILS has said it expects to conduct two more commercial launches this year, with the Russian government adding two additional flights to the manifest. If these launches occur, the Proton rocket will have recovered from the July failure to maintain its average of about 10 liftoffs per calendar year.

ILS has said it expects to conduct between five and seven commercial launches in 2014.

The Sept. 30 launch is a statement of the global insurance market’s continued faith in the Proton rocket’s basic quality. Several years ago, it would have been highly unusual for the vehicle to return so quickly from a failure to proceed directly with an insured commercial liftoff without first conducting a Russian government mission.

In this case, the July failure’s obvious cause — the misinstallation of an angular-rate sensor on the rocket that caused it to follow an unstable, hair-raising trajectory before crashing several kilometers from the launch pad — gave insurers confidence that there was no reason to insist on a government launch first.

The launch had been delayed from mid-September in part because Kazakhstan had withheld the necessary launch licenses at Kazakh and Russian authorities discussed compensation for environmental damage and compensation following Proton failures.

The Astra 2E satellite, built by Astrium Satellites of Europe, carries 60 Ku-band transponders, including 12 transponders that SES will use to find new customers beyond those whose existing services are being transferred to Astra 2E from older SES spacecraft.

Astra 2E also carries four Ka-band transponders for broadband applications.